There are some movies and shows you just can’t watch more than once a year. American History X, Schindler’s List, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest are just a few that come to mind.

Now you can safely put Wind River in the same sentence as those aforementioned pieces, and that’s not a bad thing at all — despite how bad you may feel while watching such tragedy unfold.

And make no mistake, a tragedy it is. Of the highest order. Starring Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen and a cast of actors and actresses who remind you that acting is an art when done properly. The film carries a somber, weighty tone throughout its running time and boasts some very down-to-earth dialogue and acting chops.

Renner plays a haunted but extremely efficient hunter in the cold mountains of the Wind River Indian Reservation of Wyoming. He’s as good with a rifle as he is with a snowmobile and he can read tracks in the snow like a bloodhound catches the scent of wounded prey. While hunting for a lion, he stumbles upon the body of a young woman, frozen solid in the snow. And he knows who she is.

An FBI agent more accustomed to warmer climates is brought in on the case and is soon caught up in the intrigue. Unfamiliar with tracking and the confusing mountainous region, she enlists the help of Renner’s character in search of the woman’s killer.

The Good:

  • Good, realistic dialogue.
  • Even tone throughout.
  • Good acting.
  • Gives the viewer plenty to ponder.

The Bad:

  • Some might view it as a bit heavy-handed at times.

Wind River is a thoughtful, evenly paced piece of art solidified by good acting and realistic dialogue. You get the sense that this how people actually speak to one another rather than thinking that they are actors reading from a script they’ve memorized for a paycheck. It’s also quite somber and elegiac and serves as a meaningful meditation on this country’s origin story and the way in which we treat others. Highly enjoyable and much needed.


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